Austin Michael Frink
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Austin Michael Frink

Bloomington, Indiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008

Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Rock Acoustic

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Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Since I was a young child, I’ve been obsessed with music. Songwriting became a religion to me.Music saved me as a kid. My parents were divorced. My mom was a serious alcoholic, which resulted in my having a litany of pretty traumatic experiences throughout my childhood. My dad was a single parent, straight as an arrow. Intelligent and practical. He pushed me hard. At age 11, He bought me my first guitar and sent me to lessons. Music and the guitar served as an escape for me, and a surrogate source of comfort where motherly warmth might otherwise fill that human need for connection and safety.

Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Metallica, and Tool were important bands for me through middle school in high school. I studied their music, and their influence runs deep in my work with Blue Rising where I’ve had the good fortune to be able to release about 40 original tracks spanning 6 releases since 2015. The acoustic guitar has always been an essential writing tool for me. I discovered looping and percussive techniques in my teens, but never pursued that avenue for recording or live performance, even though some of my biggest heroes like Michael Kelsey, Adrian Bellue, and Andy McKee are all acoustic virtuosos.

In October of 2019, My dad became suddenly very ill. We buried him in December. It broke me. Only a few months later in February of 2020, My mom passed away as well. While our relationship was mostly a painful one, the shock and grief were real and powerful.

The days following were the darkest I’ve experienced. When I did begin to play music again, it served as a comforting and familiar presence in my life, helping me to grow and change through the pain as it did in my childhood. I found some solace in the creativity and opportunity for personal growth I’ve found in songwriting.

Then, in October of 2020, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In November, I had surgery that left me cancer free, but without my singing voice. There was a risk that it may never return. Simultaneously, nerve damage left my right shoulder too weak to hold my guitar. As an acoustic singer-songwriter and loop artist, I lost my most important tools.

After losing both of my parents, I had relied on music to help with my grief. My songwriting helped me to explore and try to rebuild myself in the aftermath of that trauma. During my recovery from surgery, I was now afraid of losing that relationship with music forever.

These experiences tore me down to my core and exposed me in ways I could never have imagined. I've never felt more vulnerable. I tried to sing every day, and little by little, I regained my singing voice. After physical therapy, my shoulder strength returned. I was able to play and sing again.

I'm more thankful than ever to be alive and for the opportunity to continue to grow through music. My relationship with life, people, and with my work as an artist has never been more informed or inspired. Life is mysterious, and I view each day as a gift. I'm excited for the future and what it may hold.

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